It’s the season to be jolly — dust off the mistletoe and pucker up for that long line of friends and family just waiting to be welcomed into your house for another round of yearly festivities.
“Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you’re home.”
– Carol Nelson
However, there is a darker side to the holidays (ho ho….humbug).
Being within close proximity to certain friends and family members over vast periods of celebratory time can lead to some festering issues, mounting stress and hair-raising quibbles.
Invariably, some wild words could get slung about the Christmas dining table!
We’ve all probably experienced our fair share of family squabbling during holiday gatherings but how can you ride out the storm without having a huge blow-out before you’ve even got to sample that hot, steamy Christmas pudding?
Secret Santa’s Little Helper List
“A Christmas miracle is when your family doesn’t get into a single argument all day.”
– Melanie White
Remaining calm and peaceful at family reunions is no small feat — it requires a lot of awareness, internal reflection and non-reaction.
The button-pushers will always try to work their Christmas magic but you’re going to have a Santa sack full of antidotes. Below you’ll find zap-it-in-the-butt recipes to counteract disaster:
Reign (deer) It In — if someone is working on your last nerve ask yourself if you really need to react and cause a potential argument. Can you simply smile and walk away? See if you can be the still presence and avoid a hot chestnut from slipping down your trunks. It’s a great test to be non-reactive — can you pour ice over the coals this Christmas? Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed by chaotic vibes I go and take 5 in the bathroom — just sit and take 3 long deep breaths and restore your essential energy. Walking away and creating space or a break in a quarrel can be the very thing needed to diffuse it.
- Root (beer) Yourself — ground yourself wherever possible. Take deep breaths and root yourself into the present moment. When you are quiet, calm and centered, you move into the space of still presence where you can become the observer and this can be a very illuminating place to be. You might even get some clarity on certain behavioral patterns in others which may lead to a better understanding. When we are being seduced to the dark side of arguments it’s better to keep shtum unless you have something incredibly significant to say — otherwise, you will only be adding fuel to the yule logs. Remember that most of what you say — in these heated situations — isn’t being heard because there is too much tumult around and ears tend to close whilst mouths tend to flap. Being the still observer offers you a way to stay in control of your emotions and gauge what needs to be said, done or to identify if this is your cue to take a stroll around the garden or build a snowman.
- Spread Good Cheer(s) — we all love our family and friends, but if you find yourself in a situation where you truly cannot contribute anything but loving them unconditionally, then do just that and send them love. Remain calm and balanced and focus on the love you have for them. Build on that and project it towards them. Remove yourself from the room if needs be and then do it in privacy — even if it means locking yourself in that bathroom again for a few minutes to gather/center yourself (your family and friends might wonder if that egg nog is acting as a diuretic but better that then a festive altercation). I guarantee you will have helped them more by doing this then by rising to the bait of drama and argumentative behavior.
Good luck and may the force be with you!
Other articles you may enjoy: